Here We Go Again
Been a while since my last update and i promise to try and keep this exactly that, an update! Last year was certainly a bit of a doozy and one i certainly didn't see coming. The wash up was I was i needed a good rest and regroup, and it was time for me to take my sport seriously for the first time in my life. I remember my last sentence following my 2015 kona experience as an age grouper being "one day ill come back as a pro and race this thing". At the time i had no idea what I'd go through to get to that point but i was a year of self discovery and evolution that my wildest dreams couldn't have imagined. Anyways that's in the books now and off course my performance in Kona will be what I'm measured against in every race going forward and it wont be until i get back there and jump in the ring with the big boys that ill be able to alter my Ironman narrative. I'm really bloody excited about everything in front of me and i cant wait to kick things of in South Africans on Sunday just as i did last year.
Following a couple of months of "active recovery" as i just love exercising too much!! I kick started my 2018 prep on Christmas Eve. The local lads down in tassie led by our fearless leaders Kimbo Gillard and Mickey The Fox Dalton decided a 215km leg sapping southern tassie loop was the perfect way to bring the festive season in. Might i just point out these two men and 2:14 and 2:15 Marathoners, tassie certainly is a sleeper when it comes to sporting talent. But i have too acknowledge my Running edge bunch of gangsters in Matt G, Wellsy, Aaron, Tennick, Budgie, Tiz, Slonga, Hayden Armstrong (probably the strongest cyclist I've ever ridden with) seriously he's incredible!! Ando, waxy, smarty, tobo, and the occasional cameo from Pete Barret. I apologise if i missed anyone lads!! But honestly i owe these guys a hug thank you for getting my lazy ass moving again and refocused on working on my weaknesses for the new year. They would not only be there every ride but we'd often have 6 dudes to keep me honest on my run sessions, having these guys support was a big game changer in that early season foundation stage, really reminded how valuable a great training squad can be, cant wait for the summer in aus for more massive days with these animals. Anyways back to Christmas Eve and as we'd ridden for 7hrs 15min i figured i May as well add on a 45min run and kick start the season with an 8hr brick session. Yep everything after that hasn't seemed so bad at all!
After a great few weeks at home and training with the lads in tassie was time to pack the bags and head of for the first training camp in LA on January 9. Well this was a pretty low key camp, Geraint Thomas, our coach Tim Kerrison and myself. This was an opportunity to add the structure back into the program and off course get a bit of a yard stick where the early season was at for the pair off us. As always the training in LA was absolutely perfect, the roads where dry, sun was out, and it wasn't to hot, was absolutely perfect. Not surprisingly our early season fitness benefited from that and we both posted PR's in training and while i wont comment on G mine best day was a 2hr TT effort along the PCH at 360 watts followed by 25km at 3:50km pace, by far my best bike run combo I've ever posted, had been a great early season for me. G would head back to europe with instant success in Algarve winning the tt and finishing on the podium in Tirreno-Adriatico so was good to know where things where at.
With G and Tim heading back across the pond to start the rd season Fallon, Olive (the dog and I headed to Big Bear Lake for a altitude running block. Again things kept progressing nicely with me logging a couple of 90+km running weeks (big for me) and i even went and ran a marathon around the lake one day simply because i was enjoying my running so much. We had some nice big snow storms so i enjoyed some long days on the home trainer watching Winter Olympics ironically while Fallon went and shredded the slopes on her little snow board. The dog got to chance to chase an endless number of ducks and squirrels so the whole family had a great time at this training camp.
After 6 weeks in the thin air and another important foundation block in the legs and lungs, was time to head across the pond to Europe. We headed to the spanish island of Tenerife to link up with Tim and a bunch of the sky boys to all important final prep for the first race off the season. I love Tenerife and have been doing training camps there since the liquigas days in 2011. Brief explanation as to why its a hotspot for training is the island is a valcano, not the dissimilar to kona. From the sea the mountains start and stop at a plateau around 2100m later which is where we all sleep. From there we can drop to sea level easily to do our training and climb back up when we are done. There is an endless amount of incredible climbs of every which variation you cloud possibly imagine and every trip we discover a new one. Tim is a hug fan of finding "short cuts" which start and finish in the same spot as the longer version, yep the steepest he can find!! Oh and he finds some doozy's to keep us on our toes. It's pretty rare you'll find the winner off the 3 grand tours annually don't stay at the hotel parador and do there preparations in Tenerife.
Having said all that however this trip we decided to stay beside the beach and T3 (Tenerife Top Training) centre for a bit of a chance. During this period before the race its also pretty crucial to not skimp out on the swimming km's as you really pay for it in the race! The pool at T3 is regarded as one of the best in the world and was littered with national teams from Belgium, Russia, France and Spain, oh and Holland. Basically i was by far the worst swimmer in the pool! Was pretty funny actually my first morning there. Just like in the lead up to international rowing regattas coaches have there stop watches on all there rivals seeing where they are at. Swimming it turns out are exactly the same and when i dived in day 1 i must have looked like i knew what i was doing as the stop watches and eyes where definitely on my lane. When I looked up a couple of laps later the eyes where certainly nowhere near my lane as they had realised i was a complete hack and probably offended they let me in the pool at all!
Anyways i had a great couple of weeks in the pool at T3 and even broke 30 seconds for 50m in the 50m pool for the first time, that was pretty exciting!! The centre isn't only a pool but also has a running track and complete world class gym with woodway treadmills. To be brutally honest for a sports addict like me it was absolute heaven with tennis courts, soccer fields, CrossFit courses, massage and much much much more, it even had 2 golf courses either side off centre, just thinking about it makes me want to jump on the plane and go back! I could definitely live there, in fact I've considered it as T3 also has a bar serving spot on espresso and ice cold tap beer, oh and you can get a protein shake as well off course. Did i mention already its sporting heaven?? You can even surf right down in front. Ive got to stop I'm missing the place too much the more i talk about it, luckily ill be back there in a few weeks, yay!!!
My daily routine was really a sporting dream for me and just as I'd envisaged my Ironman career to look like. I'd get up and jump in the pool around 8, the Spanish like to sleep in! Shoot back to the apartment across the road and grab my bike. I'd cruise along the coast a bit and meet the sky boys at the bottom of there long decent down from the volcano and I'd do 4-6hrs with them. Once home i could through the shoes on and go for a jog on the foreshore, running track or treadmill. It was just so easy to get great volume and quality training in i simply had a smile on my face every single second! Oh that's not true. One day we did a team workout on the Churchie Climb and that hurt a significant amount. It's funny i race for 8+ hours yet 11 minutes that day trying to hold my own had lactate acid literally coming out of my eyeballs! Not content with my 50m swim PB i also ran my first ever sub 3minute km during my track session, Yep a lightning fast 2:58. Only need to back that up with 9 more and i reckon I'd be competitive in Tokyo, hahaha absolutely no chance!! Yep it was an absolutely fantastic couple of weeks and certainly capped off what had been an extremely productive start to the season as far as training went, couldn't wait to see what that translated into on race day.
Anyways with all that being said I'm about to touch down in South Africa and finally get the 2019 season underway. It's one thing to do it all in training but as i like to say these days, Train for show Race for doe $
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